Introducing Dragon Ball Z: Awakening

See the first previews from Awakening below!

As the third Starter Deck set (and seventh set overall), Dragon Ball Z: Awakening aims to take the DBZ TCG to new heights. In the coming weeks, you can find Awakening spoilers here on the blog – as well as coverage of other upcoming announcements (such as the new reprint policy).

New Mastery Cards

After Dragon Ball Z: Awakening releases on October 28th, the Tournament Guide will be updated with a change to Eligible Cards in the Deck Construction section.

Frozen List (effective November 1st, 2016):

  • Black Devious Mastery
  • Blue Protective Mastery
  • Namekian Knowledge Mastery
  • Orange Adaptive Mastery
  • Red Enraged Mastery
  • Saiyan Empowered Mastery

What is a Frozen card?

  • A card that is listed as “Frozen” in the Tournament Guide is temporarily unable be used in Organized Play events.
  • Cards will only be eligible to join this list two years after their release date. If a card is reprinted in a newer release, the clock resets! (Taking this into account, Awakening Starter Decks contain very specific and deliberate reprints.)
  • Cards can and will become unfrozen, which would remove them from the list. (Some Premiere Set Mastery cards will return sooner rather than later.)
  • Personality cards will never be added to this list (Captain Ginyu vs. Majin Buu, here we come.)
  • Updates to the Frozen List will come at announced intervals, and major changes will generally take place at the end of an Organized Play Season.

The goal of the Frozen List is to improve gameplay. You can generally expect the Frozen List to have a light touch, and any changes will always be in the interest of promoting a diverse, balanced format driven by interactive gameplay and meaningful choices. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of cards will remain legal for tournament play for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, the Frozen List will allow for a wider range of cards and strategies to be explored, while increasing room for design space and adding more playability to your collection overall. Awakening also has an emphasis on accessibility, and the Frozen List will make it easier for new players to jump into the game.

Look for Blue cards in Awakening that interact with prevention! 

Blue Resolute Mastery (paired with Goku in Awakening Starter Decks) continues Blue’s theme of flexibility. As proven by Black Devious Mastery, constant Life Card modifiers are extremely valuable for generating Crits and increasing general attack efficiency. The discard effect of the Mastery allows you to filter dead cards out of your hand with a replacement – while providing some prevention to boot. Cards like Blue Guard have an outlet here, and the extra action during combat can buy time to let things unfold. You might need to make some craftier plays to maximize this Mastery, but that’s nothing new for Blue…

Orange Retribution Mastery (paired with Vegeta in Awakening Starter Decks) has applications in both aggro and control. On your opponent’s first turn of the game, you’ll be able to begin play with a non-Constant Drill. Against aggressive decks, this means planting an early roadblock like Orange Steady Drill or Orange Burning Aura Drill. Awakening also includes other key first turn Drills – be on the lookout for activated effects that do things like raise your anger or force a personality to lose stages! 

Builds that do not want to change levels and are forced to do so will have some protection from the Constant effect – as well as some immediate recovery with the activated ability to search for a Drill. Orange decks that attempt to level up frequently will benefit greatly from this Mastery, as it generates 2 anger per combat and maintains momentum by shuffling in/searching out things like Orange Possession Drill. The ability to make free attacks ensures that you will be difficult to stage lock, and it also offers combo potential with some high cost cards.

Rise of the Saiyans

Goku’s new MP stack is universally powerful, with applications in nearly every imaginable archetype. On Level 1, Goku draws a card when entering combat – contrasting with the activated Powers of his other Level 1 MPs. Aside from card advantage, Goku also brings modifiers throughout each level.

Comparable to Piccolo – Combat Stance in general utility, Goku – Training is also able to add a card to your hand from the discard pile. The +1 life card modifier expands here, now causing your opponent’s attacks to deal -1 life card.

Goku Level 3 nets another raw card, including the ability to create combos with the top card of the discard pile. The attack itself can deal sizable damage, and the Constant modifier grows to +2 life.

Goku – Selfless brings a rock solid -2/+2 modifier, while also continuing the tradition of Goku Level 4 accessing the Banished Zone. The ability is useful for all builds, enabling a control deck to run minimal victory conditions or an aggro deck to find key tech cards.

When evaluating Goku’s potential, it’s important to keep in mind that he can mix and match with his pre-existing MP stacks. Look for different combinations that suit your style!

Vegeta has the same benefit:

Vegeta’s modifier makes non-Styled attacks lethal from the get-go, boosting a card like Vegeta’s Galick Gun to 8 life cards of unpreventable damage! Vegeta – Experienced also packs a 3 Life Card poke, and the ability to banish cards from the discard pile can shut down several passive strategies.

Vegeta’s parenthetical effect allows you to continue pressuring your opponent after leveling up!

This is Vegeta’s sweet spot. The non-Styled modifier decreases to +1, but the anti-prevention effect will cause Life Decks to melt all the same. Cards like Optic Blast, Flurry of Blows, and countless others will all deal Critical Damage whenever they hit. Perhaps most threatening of all, Crushing Beam (which can always be paid for after using his activated Power) deals 7 Life Cards of unpreventable damage – all of it banished!

Vegeta – Energized brings a larger modifier to your non-Styled attacks, and his constant effect can make high value HIT effects become overwhelming. When you reach Level 3, Vegeta’s parenthetical effect can dictate the flow of combat – either forcing in more attacks, or ending combat when spent.

Vegeta Level 4 offers little utility, but creates an unending stream of unstoppable attacks to end the game in short order. Shifting between Levels 3 and 4 can provide a great deal of control, giving Vegeta some extra bulk in the late-game.

Assisted Kamehameha is available only to Saiyan heritage MPs, yet its applications are nearly limitless. As an unstoppable and unpreventable energy attack for 4 life cards, you’ll generally want to pair it with a consistent +1 life card modifier. Aside from obvious applications with Goku and Vegeta, it can also be fully utilized with Blue Resolute Mastery or Black Conflict Mastery, paired with other Saiyan MPs like Cell and Gohan – and much more! Several new archetypes are competitively enabled by this card, and it will be thrilling to watch how the Saiyans fare in the new environment!

Check back on Tuesday for previews of Goku’s Search, Vegeta’s Final Flash, and more! You’ll also be able to find links to podcasts and fansites with further spoilers.

California Regional 

The next Regional takes place this weekend in San Gabriel, CA – find out more here. Participants should be fully familiar with the Tournament Guide and CRD, available here. You can also save time by filling out your Deck Registration Form in advance.

16 thoughts on “Introducing Dragon Ball Z: Awakening

  1. Both Masteries seem solid.

    I like that the character art is much larger on these starter MPs. The MPs seem good.

    Those level 4s: OH. MY. GOD.

    As for the ultra…not a fan honestly. I don’t like that it pretty much eliminates the majority of MPs from using it.


      • I understand that, but as Mr. Overlord points out below itd be a horrible choice for non saiyan. With so many better options, it essentially eliminates non-saiyans from using it.


  2. The frozen list seems like a poor choice. Please try it for a season and see where we are. I don’t want to feel restricted. I wanted more options.


    • The truth of the matter is that a larger card pool is not always synonymous with more options. I see Black Devious and Red Enraged being particularly troublesome to future design space. I think rotating non personalities is a very good idea in principle.


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  4. Wow! The Goku stack, Vegeta stack, just wow! The only thing I feel that’s not gush worthy is the Blue Resolute Mastery. It’s good, but, when there are so many things that can make half of it’s activated power worthless… like Turles, Dig, Static Shot, ect ect ect I can’t say it thrills me much. May have some good uses with the previous Hero Vegeta that never saw play, but wow, that could have just been a -4/-4 modifier instead of prevention and it would have been FAR more solid. Other wise, I can’t say anything bad. Good Job Panini! 😀


    • By card text it’s not exclusive to Saiyans, but it’s barely worth using as a non-Saiyan. 4 damage, banish after use isn’t great, but unblockable, unpreventable, 4 damage is great, even with the banish. Very few people will run it in non-Saiyan, so it might as well be a Saiyan exclusive.


  5. I like what you’re doing Panini with the Frozen List. I agree that it promotes new strategies and just in time for Worlds! Furthermore, I like that MP’s can never go on the Frozen list. I too would like to see Ginyu vs Majin Buu! XD… I also think reprints are healthy for the longevity of a game. Which compliments the Frozen “Clock,” nicely as it resets older card clocks.

    Assisted Kamehameha looks amazing! And with so many Saiyan MP’s, the possibilities are endless! This card will definitely be meta! Unlike True Power. lol…Not to mention, that artwork is phenomenal! It illustrates one of the greatest moments in DBZ history.

    The rest of the preview cards are worthy of meta choices too! Even Vegeta! Finally! Haha.

    Overall, this is awesome news! I can’t wait for October! 🙂


  6. I’m liking what I’m seeing but the blue mastery would be better if they would could differentiate preventing from using endurance


  7. Ehhh…frozen list? Even if banning a card temporarily is a thing, it kills the fun. I jumped to DBZ to avoid ban lists I.e. yugioh…even if a card is quote “frozen”


  8. I think this frozen list is a bad idea. Particularly since the mastery’s are being targeted. The best part about these starter deck sets are new mastery’s. Taking the old ones away defeats the purpose. I get 6 new ones but lose 6 at the same time. I just feel that putting in essentially set rotations after just 2 years is jumping the gun.


  9. In contrast to the above comments, I think the frozen list is a good idea. Masteries like Black Devious and Namekian Knowledge have become too overplayed and undermine other potential strategies. Also, cards like Red Relaxation, Visiting the Past, Time is a Warrior’s Tool, Orange Destruction, etc are damaging to the creativity of new decklists. Every single Red deck runs Relaxations because they are awesome, but at the same time this limits future builds. I think using a frozen list allows the meta to change at a much greater pace and it helps new players get into the game faster.


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